Urban design and planning criteria for large-scale mixed-use developments (MXDs): Modeling Saudi Arabian major cities

Majid Abdulsamad Enani, University of Pennsylvania


A Mixed-Use Development (MXD) is a relatively large-scale real estate project with physical integration of three or more revenue producing uses. The uses: retail, office, residential, hotel, cultural facility, and recreation, are intensively connected and mutually supportive. The physical integration is enhanced by development in conformance with a coherent plan.$\sp2$ In the major cities of Saudi Arabia, Mixed-Use Developments, especially those that include a significant retail component, represent a trend that will continue throughout the end of this century and beyond. In those cities, MXDs have emerged in the past ten to twenty years with varying degrees of success. Sprawling suburban projects contrast with compact downtown towers, but neither environment provides a guarantee of success. In fact, a specific set of factors that contribute to the propensity for success of these properties has not been discovered. In my dissertation I examine a carefully selected group of MXDs in Saudi Arabia, through which I have been able to gain insight into the factors that determine a project's probability of success. I personally collected all the information and data that formed the basis of these factors. I then defined a criterion for success, as a dependent variable, and regressed all the factors against the selected success indicator. The results of these regression analyses served to highlight those factors that appeared to be characteristics of profitable MXDs, and suggested the extent to which they may have contributed to the success of the projects. I used these results as a background for further analysis based on individual case studies, interviews with developers, designers, and users of MXDs, in order to arrive at an expanded description of the criteria that make MXDs more successful and desirable. This study was preceded by an in-depth analysis of the urban design concepts and theories behind the emergence of MXDs. I also discussed the role of MXD among several interconnected factors contributing to urban vitality and prosperity. The final product of the dissertation depicted the characteristics of MXDs which are most successful and desirable for the region under study, based on the research I have done as well as my own evaluation and judgement. ftn$\sp2$ULI (1976), Mixed-Use Developments: New Ways of Land Use, p. 6.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development

Recommended Citation

Enani, Majid Abdulsamad, "Urban design and planning criteria for large-scale mixed-use developments (MXDs): Modeling Saudi Arabian major cities" (1998). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9840184.